Legendary Indigenous musician Joe Geia is set to hit the stage for a night of song and storytelling at the Thornbury Theatre Velvet Room on April 13 in an exciting comeback after a short break from Australia’s music scene.
Geia is a renowned singer/songwriter, guitarist, didgeridoo player and influential figure in the development of contemporary Indigenous music. He writes music of bravery and beauty, telling of Aboriginal life in Australia, of the quest for justice and belonging, of history, family and love.
“I want to promote change and understanding, melodically and harmoniously,” he says, “while still sharing the little known aspects of Aboriginal history.”
Geia is perhaps best known for his song “Yil Lull”, regularly described as Australia’s unofficial Indigenous national anthem. “Yill Lull” has been covered by many of Australia’s best-known recording artists, including Paul Kelly, Shane Howard, Archie Roach and even our current Education Minister, Peter Garrett, in his former career as a singer, joined in for a chorus or two of Yil Lul at an AFL Dreamtime Match.
Geia’s song “Uncle Willie” is about one of seven leaders (alongside Geia’s father, Albert) instrumental in the historic 1957 Palm Island strike that won Indigenous people the right to work for wages rather than rations for the community. This sense of social justice resonates through his songs.
Geia will be performing a selection of his well-known original compositions with the ever-popular Pearly Shells Big Band. Adding to Joe’s rich vocals will be the very talented Kerri Simpson and Nichaud Fitzgibbon. Together, these musicians are creating their own unique genre: ‘Island Swing’!
Joe Geia and his songs have traveled widely, most recently on a solo tour to Ireland and to London with the Black Arm Band — a tour celebrated in the multi-award-winning documentary Murundak: Songs of Freedom.